[Marxism] Fwd: A response to a Jacobin article on Kobane | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jan 8 10:54:51 MST 2015

While it is understandable why the international left should offer the 
maximum solidarity to the Kurdish struggle centered in Kobane, a Jacobin 
article by Errol Babacan and Murat Çakır offered in that spirit and 
titled “The False Friends of Kobanê” does require some scrutiny. 
Published originally in Infobrief Türkei, it vehemently opposes outside 
intervention, particularly from Turkey. The article reflects a fairly 
widespread belief on the Turkish left that there was nothing of value in 
the Syrian uprising since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was backing it. 
If it wasn’t enough that Erdoğan was intervening, he was implicitly 
intervening on behalf of the worst elements:

	Given that IS militants have reportedly been crossing the 
Turkish-Syrian border with ease, and in the context of Turkey’s 
longstanding hostility to Kurdish interests, it was clear that such a 
plan would amount to the fox guarding the henhouse.

And as is so often the case with pro-Kobane material, there is a sharp 
distinction between the pure as the driven snow PYD—the Kurdish 
militia—and the sneaky Syrian rebels who apparently conspired to draw 
imperialism into the fray from the beginning:

	The PYD had previously made known that its activities were independent 
of the wider Syrian opposition. When the latter began conferring with 
Turkey and, with Western support, took up arms against the Syrian 
government and started calling for foreign military intervention, the 
PYD spoke out against such outside intervention and stressed that a 
democratic Syria could only be the collective project of all Syrians.

If you click the link to “calling” above, you will be directed to an 
article in Jadaliyya.com by As`ad Abukhalil—the “Angry Arab”—that was 
written in 2012. My friendly advice to Errol Babacan and Murat Çakır, if 
they ever stumble across this article, and to Bhaskar Sunkara who surely 
will, is to avoid referencing the Angry Arab if they want to be taken 
seriously as analysts rather than cheap propagandists. The Angry Arab’s 
article is a long diatribe describing the war in Syria as an 
American-Israeli cabal and is just one brick in the edifice he has been 
constructing for the past four years to demonize the FSA. There are far 
better Baathist propagandists than him, like Nir Rosen or Joshua Landis. 
That is, if you want to be taken seriously.


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